Choosing The Best Forensic Science Colleges

December 8, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Choosing The Best Forensic Science Colleges

A career in forensic science may be a good option for you if you have a strong interest in investigating and resolving criminal cases. This industry is a hybrid of the medical and legal fields, and it plays an important role in a wide variety of activities, including the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes as well as the provision of legal support in the judicial system. For one to get the right education in forensic science, one must get into the best forensic science colleges.

What is forensic science?

What is forensic science? The criminal justice system cannot function without the contributions of forensic science. Forensic scientists collect evidence from crime scenes and other locations, examine that evidence, and then develop objective conclusions based on their findings. These conclusions can either aid in the investigation and prosecution of criminals or clear an innocent person of any wrongdoing.

The development of forensic science has been used for hundreds of years to uncover mysteries, solve crimes, and either convict or acquit suspects of criminal activity. It started in the 16th century when medical practitioners first started using forensic science, with writings in the late 18th century that revealed the first evidence of modern pathology, and the formation of the first school of forensic science in 1909. This has been the case from the time medical practitioners first started using forensic science in the 16th century until the formation of the first school of forensic science.

Three forensic scientist crouched in the floor while investigating a scene inside a roon

The extraordinary scientific innovations and advancements in forensic science have allowed it to become a highly developed science involving several subfields and thousands of forensic scientists specializing in everything from DNA and botany to dentistry and tool marks. This has made it possible for forensic science to become an important component in investigating crimes.

Forensic molecular biology (DNA), forensic chemistry, trace evidence examination (hairs and fibers, paints and polymers, glass, soil, etc.), latent fingerprint examination, firearms and tool mark examination, handwriting analysis, fire and explosives examinations, forensic toxicology, and digital evidence are all common types of forensic science laboratory disciplines.

What are careers in forensic science?

What kinds of careers are available in forensic science? Private investigators can work in armored vehicles or insurance offices, and information security analysts can be found behind screens and in boardrooms of private and public administrative offices. Forensic scientists, on the other hand, typically work in laboratories or at crime scenes, depending on their rank and the responsibilities they are assigned.

Forensic pathology, forensic nursing, forensic psychiatry, forensic entomology, and forensic engineering are examples of forensic specialties typically practiced outside of forensic laboratories. Universities, private practices, and the offices of medical examiners and coroners are the most common settings where one might find a practitioner of one of these disciplines.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives all have their own forensic laboratories, which are all maintained by the Department of Justice.

What are the best forensic science colleges?

Every one of the colleges that are included on this list is considered one of the best forensic science colleges in its own right. As such, they can provide students with everything necessary for them to enter the field of forensic science. However, because there are so many options, students might feel overwhelmed. When selecting a nursing school, one ought to consider several aspects, such as the location, the teaching staff, and the areas of specialization available.

Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA)

Mercyhurst University students can pursue a multidisciplinary undergraduate major in applied forensic sciences through the Department of Sciences. This program is designed to educate students in science, forensic science, society, and the law. At the beginning of the program, students are provided with a solid foundation in the natural sciences. This program teaches students how to recognize, collect, analyze, and interpret forensic evidence.

To hone their skills and advance their education, students at Mercyhurst take advantage of the school’s cutting-edge facilities, such as the Ted A. Rathbun Osteology Laboratory.

a forensic scientist examining evidence inside a laboratory using a magnifying glass

Rathbun features classrooms designed for 12-15 students to take hands-on courses, such as Fragmentary Human Osteology and Skeletal Trauma Analysis. These classrooms are affectionately known as the Bone Lab. The lab has an extensive collection of fossil hominid casts, human skeletal remains, large vertebrate skeletons, vertebrate faunal collections from several historic and prehistoric sites, and human remains that have been donated.

What makes this one of the best schools for forensic science is that students have access to cutting-edge devices such as digital sliding and spreading calipers, osteometric boards, and FORDISC 3.0, an interactive computer program that forensic anthropologists use for biological profiling.

University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

The Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program at the University of Central Florida is focused on teaching students how to apply scientific principles to advance social justice. Students have various options to choose from when it comes to learning their trade thanks to the presence of tracks in both chemistry and biochemistry. Since its inception in 1974, this program is the nation’s second-oldest of its kind.

University of Central Florida main building

The first part of the curriculum consists of classes in forensic sciences. During these classes, students gain experience in various areas, including the use of specific instruments, the performance of scientific writing, and the conduct of scientific investigations.

What makes the University of Central Florida (UCF) one of the best forensic science colleges is that they provide its students with access to a cutting-edge laboratory that is outfitted with polarized light microscopes, stereo microscopes, and comparison microscopes. Students can learn about the operation of and get hands-on experience with these kinds of equipment by performing microscopic examinations of simulated forensic samples.

U.S. News & World Report named the University of Central Florida (UCF) as one of the most innovative schools in the country in part because of the unique and creative approach taken by the university’s forensic science program.

Texas A&M University, College Station (College Station, TX)

“To create and implement knowledge that improves lives” is the mission of the Entomology Department at Texas A&M University in College Station. This refers to the application of life sciences to the process of crime scene investigation, and it is covered in the Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program. Future forensic scientists who earn this degree will be better equipped to collect, preserve, and apply evidentiary information to problem-solving.

University of Texas A&M

The success of the program offered by Texas A&M University is demonstrated by its contributions to the local community. In the year 2020, professor Jacqui Aitkenhead-Peterson utilized her expertise in determining the presence of nutrients in soil and water in ecosystems dominated by humans to assist in the location of human remains and to make progress in the investigation of a case.

Later in the year, senior in forensic science Harlee Schneider was honored with the Senior Merit Award by the College of Agriculture for her contributions to the non-profit organization Texas A&M Cupcakes and the Youth Adventure Program that the Entomology Department organized.

Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

Students in the forensic science program at Pennsylvania State University, which is recognized as one of the best forensic science colleges in the U.S., receive hands-on training in the methodologies of modern forensic science used in crime laboratories and techniques used to investigate crime scenes. Students at this school have access to cutting-edge crime laboratories and training facilities and the opportunity to learn from highly experienced faculty members.

Pennsylvania State University main building

Students enrolled in the program can select one of two distinct educational tracks, depending on whether they are working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree; forensic biology or forensic chemistry.

Biology, microbiology, serology, biochemistry, and molecular biology are studied by students specializing in forensic biology. Students who choose to focus on forensic chemistry expand their knowledge of analytical, physical, and inorganic chemistry through the study of their forensic applications.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE)

What makes the Forensic Science program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln one of the best forensic science colleges is that it allows students to choose between three distinct concentrations. Forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

Those who take the forensic biology path concentrate on the processes involved in forensic serology (the identification of body fluids) and DNA analysis. The curriculum includes molecular biology, forensic biology, genetics, human remains, and immunology classes. These classes are modeled after the procedures that are followed in active crime laboratories in the United States.

University of Nebraska mini park outside it's main building

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) is more than just the name of a popular television show; it teaches students how to collect, preserve, and interpret physical evidence in a simulated crime scene. Students who wish to pursue a career in forensic science are required to take certain courses. These courses include forensic photography, comparative analysis techniques, palynology, entomology, physical anthropology, chemistry, and biology. These courses are designed to follow the standard procedures for investigating crime scenes and analyzing evidence.

Students who choose to study forensic chemistry are introduced to chemistry techniques performed in a laboratory setting and instructed on how to conduct chemical analysis of forensically important materials. This path offers instruction in quantitative, analytical, and physical chemistry, physiology, toxicology, calculus, biochemistry, and comparative analysis methods.

Now you have an idea of where you should go to study forensic science, and your college admissions should be where you pay attention next. To ensure that you get into the college you want, you can get help with AdmissionSight. With ten years of experience with college admission experts, Admissionsight can help you get into the college of your choice. You can talk to our experts today to get an initial consultation.

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